Economic Growth

May 6, 1959

Report Outline
Need for Expansion of U.S. Economy
Methods of Speeding Economic Growth
Economic Growth and Price Inflation

Need for Expansion of U.S. Economy

Challenges in Soviet Union's Economic Goals

Soviet Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev told delegates to the 21st Soviet Communist Party Congress at Moscow last Jan. 27 that Russia would “outstrip the United States in industrial output” by 1970 or “perhaps even sooner.” Director Allen W. Dulles of the Central Intelligence Agency has called the Khrushchev boast “nothing more than wishful thinking.” However, Dulles in a speech on April 8 warned the American people of three “sobering implications” in Soviet economic progress:

First of all, rapid economic growth will provide the Kremlin leaders with additional resources with which to intensify the arms race…. Secondly, some additional improvements can be made in the standards of living of the Russian people, … Finally, the Soviet seven-year plan, even if not fully achieved, will provide the wherewithal to push the expansion of trade and aid with the uncommitted and underdeveloped nations of the free world.

Secretary of Defense Neil H. McElroy, addressing the Bureau of Advertising of the American Newspaper Publishers Association on April 23, declared that “We can no more afford to lose the economic competition with communism than we can afford to fall behind militarily.” The only way to meet that competition, he said, is “to increase our own output.” That “may mean plowing back a larger percentage of our gross national product into capital investment for industrial expansion,” and it “may mean that our people will have to learn to get along with less in current consumption.” Otherwise, McElroy concluded, “we may come out second best in a competition for which there is no second prize.” Sen. Lyndon B, Johnson (D-Texas), speaking in similar vein to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce five days later, called for “bold and imaginative action to increase the wealth of America.” And Columbia University's American Assembly at Arden House called on May 3 for pursuit of “maximum sustained economic growth as a primary national objective.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Economic Analyses, Forecasts, and Statistics
Economic Development